Space.City Lecture: Bjarke Ingels, BIG
Ingels co-founded PLOT Architects in 2001, and started his own office in 2006: BIG / Bjarke Ingels Group. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Ingels has created an international reputation as a member of a new generation of architects that combine shrewd analysis, playful experimentation, social responsibility and humor. In programmatic alchemy', BIG mixes the conventional ingredients of living, leisure, working, parking and shopping into new forms of symbiotic architecture. BIG strives to balance the effects of a project's size against its programmatic needs on the triple bottom line of the social, economical and ecological outcome.
The work of BIG challenges the traditional role of the architect. BIG has proactively proposed projects that have often triggered heated public debate and influenced urban politics. The High Square project was a spontaneous proposal for a new public square at the heart of Copenhagen on top of an existing department store. Similarly, the Clover Block is a proposal to realize the socialist mayor's plan for new affordable housing in the form of a 3 km long Great Chinese Wall of apartments around an existing sports park. Both are currently in the process of being realized.
In the Mountain Dwellings, a parking block is transformed into a hill side covered by housing units. In the Battery, a dense landscape of apartments is excavated to free space for public programs, culture and the first mosque in Copenhagen. These projects represent BIG's ongoing effort to free architectural imagination from habitual thinking and standard typologies in order to deal with the constantly evolving challenges of contemporary life.
In 2004, Ingels was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for the Stavanger Concert House and the following year he received the Forum Award for the VM houses. Recently, he was nominated for the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Award for the Maritime Youth Houses and VM as well as the International Iakov Chernikhov Prize.
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